Monday, March 28, 2016

Rain, Miracles, AND More Rain :)

**Excerpt from Letter to mom first**
Dearest mommy,

  Hello!! Thank you so much for your email! It brightened my day. I am sorry that you had to go to woman's conference by yourself..that's no fun, but I'm glad you went! We don't get to see the broadcast until Saturday morning. Then we watch the first session on Saturday night. Then Priesthood session on Sunday morning, second session, music and the spoken word, then the third session on Sunday night. We don't even get to watch the last session because of timing and everything! Kinda lame.. But at least we get to watch some of it! It will be weird to watch it in the evening in a chapel in church clothes, but I am so excited for it! I know it will provide some answers and spiritual light that I may or may not know that I need. What a cool opportunity it is! 

Thank you so much for your Easter card! It was so fun to get mail! Sister Wiesners boyfriend, basically fianc√©, writes her a letter every single day. And send three at a time. So she gets mail every other day! Crazy sauce. So it was nice to see my mommas handwriting!! :) 

  A little more about Sister Wiesner, she has 6 older siblings and she is indeed the baby! She is 23 and her met her boyfriend at an FSY convention in Germany. He served in SLC and is 25 and currently serving on a bishopric in Germany! What?!? They really have such a cool, gospel focused relationship-such an example to me. They plan to be married in October when his brother returns home from his mission. Cool huh? Her parents are both converts and are now temple workers. Another fun fact, they are both older than grandpa! 72&74!! What?! I know.. 
  But anyway, she is still amazing and we get along so great. We just laugh and make up songs/raps about the gospel. We are working so hard and are just loving every bit of it. We've gotten so close this week and are just having the best time ever. I am truly bummed that she will be going home in just 4 weeks. She is teaching me so much. 

  I am so excited for Katelyn to come home!!! LOVE! It will just be amazing. I'm excited to see pictures of you all together! 
Thank you for your love and concern. The bombings in Brussels kind of put a halt on things here, but all in the mind of safety! We are grateful that President and Sister Leppard take such good care of us! It is a blessing to have them in our lives! Mom, I am continuing to have the experience of a lifetime. I am learning more and more each day, how I can become a better disciple of Christ and a better missionary. I am so grateful to be able to see myself growing slowly. Caerphilly has my heart and I am giving my all to make sure that I leave this place better than I found it. We found some awesome people this week that we are super stoked about! Prayers up! 
  I think about you often and love you to the moon and back! 

I'll speak to you soon! 
I'm not sure on the meaning of this one - maybe she missed pancakes?

**Now for the family letter**
Dear familia,
  I hope you all had a wonderful week! And if not, turn that frown upside down and make this week the best one possible!! :) 
  Hello from the wetlands! Mercy, it has just been dumping it the past few days! We often come home looking like wet dogs, but we are working hard and find those who have been prepared to hear this great word; so it is well worth it

  This week has been a normal missionary week with miracles bursting at the seams! But before I go on about miracles, I just want to express how much I love my companion. Sister Wiesner is the bomb! She has got a heart of gold and has a testimony like fire! She is bold and loving at the same time; which is key when doing this work. We get a long so well, it's scary sometimes. Like, is this too good to be true? There's got to be some dirt in this relationship somewhere?? NOPE! Just hard work and lots of laughs! 
  Laughing is key out here for many reasons..#1 If I'm not laughing, I'm not having fun. We find ourselves cracking jokes when we reach hard moments, just so we can bare them a little longer! #2 I think we would go crazy if we got stuck in the "missionary mode" and lost ourselves while do this work. Laughing and making the best of every experience we are given is apart of this once in a lifetime opportunity! Why not laugh and have the best miss ever? #3 Life is funner and rejection is taken easier when we are happy and positive! *I challenge you all to do one thing this week that makes you happy! Whether it be eating chocolate, going to the cinema, sitting down to read a good book...Treat yourself! When you are happy, those around you will be happy! :) 

  The first miracle would have to be Pat. She is an older woman who we tracted into and she has a heart of gold! She has a little puppy (12 years old) named Meg that I just adore! We were able to teach her about how this gospel will change her life and the importance of our callings as missionaries. She was overwhelmed with great excitement as we told her that we would come back and teach her! We look forward to inviting her to attend General Conference this weekend and know that there will be many things said that will stir about a mighty change in her life! She is a miracle to us! 
  The second miracle was found whilst tracting, Jan and Phil! Legends already! We actually stopped by the home and Phil said that his wife wasn't home yet, so we continued down the houses and intended to come back. Whilst on our way back, a China-sized wind gust came and turned Sister Wiesner's umbrella inside out. When this happened, we heard hysterical laughing from the teenage boys down the road.. Funny thing is, we talked about being mocked that morning before we went out and it actually happened! Turkeys. Anywho, as we stopped and attempted to fix the umbrella, we looked up to see Jan pulling up in her car! What?!? We just looked at each other and kinda ran over to her.. At first she was reluctant, as she had a tart to make (come on Jan, a tart? Haha), but she eventually invited us in where we were able to share the #Hallelujah Easter video with her. She looked up from the screen and said, "That. That was powerful!" When she said that, my whole body was covered in *tinglies* and I could feel the spirit so strongly! Her eyes were permanently opened wide and she was like a sponge, taking in every ounce of what we were speaking to her about! I love sponges! We were able to leave her with an invitation to pray to know if this is the right step to take in her life and we hope to be able to teach Phil next time as well! 

  The third miracle came on Friday morning in the form of Sister Holman, our Ward Mission Leaders wife. The night before at coordination, my badge fell off somewhere in their home. But I didn't realize it until we were already home. This situation is normally not a big deal, but when you ruin your other badge by putting it in the dryer....all of the sudden that one, single badge is like gold! In the morning, I waited patiently while the Holmans searched their car and their home for this badge and it seemed like hours! Needless to say, we were going to see President that day and going without a name badge is just not an option. Haha. So, I found myself on my knees, just pleading for their guidance and direction and all of the sudden, I hear the phone ding and Sister Holman had found it! Under the stinking dining room table! Oh my word. I fell straight to my knees in adoration for them and for the Lord. It might sound like a small, simple miracle, but this miracle change the course of my day! The grass seemed a little greener, the chocolate seemed a little sweeter, and the rain seemed a little wetter, but I was SO grateful that the Lord provided that experience for me! As missionaries, we pray for things often, because we need that answer immediately. No time to delay Heavenly Father, I need this answer now. So that we may know which way to go, which door to knock, or how we can help the people that we meet. These moments provide great building blocks for my testimony to rest upon when I feel weak. I am so grateful to know that God is aware of me! 

  The fourth miracle came last night at Easter dinner. We had lamb, roasted potatoes (kind of a staple here), mint jelly(take it or leave it), Yorkshire puddings, broccoli and cauliflower, and the grand finale.....brussel sprouts. Ten of them. On my plate. Aaahhhh and there wasn't enough gravy to drowned them in! Tragedy! So, what did I do? Grab some chunky apple sauce(they eat it on lamb here) and pour it over the little devils! Granted, it did taste pretty gnarly, but I survived. Hahah miracles are wrought and brussel spouts are still disgusting! It made for a good story nonetheless! I hope it provided a little laugh for you as well! :) 

  All in all, I was so grateful to have had time to reflect on the life of my Savior this week. His sacrifice is one that will forever change the course of my life. He is the reason that I am here in Wales. He is the reason that I can repent and feel of the redeeming love that is His Atonement. He is the reason that I chose to serve a mission, to share His light to the people here in Britain. Gratitude for Him is something that I will constantly try to master every day of my life! He is the King. The Almighty God. The Prince of Peace. What a cool guy huh? I challenge you to get to know your Savior on a personal level. Pray to Him. Love Him. Because He loves you! 

  I feel it a privilege every single morning to wake up at 6:30am and begin the Lords work here in this chosen land. The mission life is the life for me, the only one I see, and I absolutely LOVE it! This Gospel is true! No better work. Sister Wiesner have a great week ahead that I cannot wait to begin! Thank you for your prayers and concern! I hope you all have a wonderful week! 

Taa-daa love! 
Talk to you next week! 

Sister Sydney Jones

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